Fantastic Fatherhood: Why Parenthood For Men Has Many Perks
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By Mia Bolaris-Forget
While most women eagerly look forward to (and sometimes perhaps over-glamorize) motherhood, it’s primarily the sex part that most men look forward to. Still, most guys who’ve become fathers (eventually) admit to it being one of the best decisions they’ve ever made. Besides the benefits of the unconditional love and affection from the fruit of their loins, many admit that fatherhood inspires them to become “better" men. From taking better care of themselves to satisfying their sense of purpose and boosting their psychological well-being, are all a part of those well-deserved daddy dividends.
According to studies and research the perks of parenthood on men also profits their children. Studies show that children who have loving, active dads have a better self-image, a higher self-esteem, learn better and are less prone to depression than those who don’t.
Many previous studies have shown that marriage and parenthood force partners, especially men, into “instant adulthood”. In fact, marriage and family life has been proven to be better for individuals on a variety of levels from the emotional to the financial and studies document that married men, especially those that are dads are less inclined to develop or nurture “bad” or dangerous habits, including, smoking, drinking, drug abuse, risky activities and behaviors, etc., for the family’s sake. Experts asserts that having a wife and kids offers men not only responsibility but structure in their lives, people who count on and rely on them and who love them, “coercing” them to implement more “common sense” and act more maturely and responsibly. In fact, daddy-hood affects areas you may never (otherwise) have even given thought to.
1. Healthy Helpings: While at one point (in their lives) a healthy diet for most men consisted of warm beer and cold pizza or left over Chinese food, dads (nationwide) profess that having children changed their eating habits.
From (some) wanting to support their pregnant wives in healthy behavior, including healthful eating, to those who simply want to set a good example (by setting a healthy table) for their kids, dads say they’re more apt to opt for a healthy head of lettuce or broccoli than a “healthy” head on their beer.
2. Building Stamina And Endurance: Remember the days of working all day and coming home to a nap or late weekend nights followed by late weekend risings, or simply coming home to relax in front of the good ole’ entertainment center? Well, if you (still) do chances are that you are either NOT married and certainly don’t have any children. Children say experts and parents alike have an uncanny way of keeping you on your toes and on your feet.
Unless you’re one of those traditional types in a very traditional marriage with a very traditional gals who still believe that raising children is the mother’s job, then more likely than not, you’ll be expected to do more than just help make them. And, helping raise kids means keeping them physically and mentally stimulated no matter how tired you are. The playful antics of lifting your child over your head not only helps build your bond, but build muscle and burn calories, and so does pushing a toddler-laden stroller around the neighborhood or park. But, beyond the obvious, many dads (of all ages) declare that children are an inspiration to keeping in shape, making them realize their difference in age, their inclination toward “slowing down”, and their vulnerability. Staying healthy becomes a priority, as does the desire to be not only around but also in good condition to enjoy watching and experiencing their children grow.
3. Improves Health Practices: Beyond eating better and staying (more) physically fit, having a child encourages many men to take their life more seriously and that means being less reluctant about seeing a doctor. From annual checkups to impromptu visits to make sure potential problems aren’t missed or overlooked, men, who otherwise would refrain from physicals, are inspired to be more conscious of their mortality. Experts note that many (men/fathers) are often influences by their wives who are mandated to see their doctor regularly during (and some after) pregnancy, and by frequent visits to the pediatrician for well-care for baby. Besides giving dads peace of mind, doctors visits also help men address many of their fears and concerns and put into light the thins their family and friends may have been “warning” them about for years.
4. Lowers Stress And Stress-Related Issues: Sure children shake up our lives and bring “tension” to an otherwise “peaceful” situation. But according to long-term research, men with satisfying family lives and relationships were less prone to stress-induces problems. In fact, the study showed that fathers who experienced positive relationships with their children were less likely to experience chest pain, insomnia, fatigue, indigestion and dizziness.
Furthermore, experts add that modern-day dads are redefining fatherhood and viewing it in a more positive light. According to a recent survey more and more dads are (willingly) spending more time with their children (than on their own interests), with younger dads (those between 20 and 39) leading the trend.
They note that one of the added advantages of spending time with their kids isn’t only that it helps their relationship with their wife (because women are thrilled with the added interest and involvement), their relationship with their kids, but it also makes them (the men) feel better about themselves and helps with their success in marriage and in the business world as well.
This new found and newly perceived success also helps men psychologically by preventing mental illness, lowering depression, anxiety, and other mental-health issues.
5. Promotes Happiness and Positive Thinking And Attitude: Although it’s quite common for many men to bemoan (jokingly or otherwise) about their constriction to freedom imposed by marriage and family, the overwhelming majority will testify that husband-hood and fatherhood had ultimately been a positive and uplifting decision and experience. Having a family allows men (or rather forces most of them) to look beyond their selfish needs and to the future (not only theirs), which, again, has been touted for keeping them happy, healthy and more mentally stable. It also shows that it encourages (most) men to stay positive, hopeful and want to serve as an example and inspiration. Besides that being beneficial to their wife and kids, it’s also been shown that optimism is essential in helping people fight off depression, disease, and even live longer….and they say it’s all because children’s (even that of adult offspring) is contagious.
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